The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ. Catholics Come Home.
Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:21-23).
When you cannot go to Confession...
From Pope Francis:
"Do what the Catechism says. It is very clear: If you cannot find a priest to confess to, speak directly with God, your father, and tell him the truth. Say, 'Lord, I did this, this, this. Forgive me,' and ask for pardon with all your heart." Make an act of contrition, the pope said, and promise God, "'I will go to confession afterward, but forgive me now.' And immediately you will return to a state of grace with God."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called 'perfect' — contrition of charity. Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible."
From the Archdiocese of Toronto:
The only ordinary way of attaining forgiveness for sins is participating in individual and integral confession and absolution. Nevertheless, if a person is unable to make an appointment with a priest for the Sacrament during the current pandemic, it will suffice for the moment to pray the Act of Contrition as best as one can intending it truthfully, and to commit to participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as possible when conditions allow.
Steps to Perfect Contrition
- Examine your conscience by reflection on your sins.
- Be remorseful & sorry for one's sins out of Love for God and resolve to not commit them again.
- Pray an Act of Contrition Prayer again, out of Love for God.
- Make a FIRM commitment to go to confession as soon as it becomes possible
Traditional Act of Contrition Prayer:Oh My God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You and detest all my sins because of Your just punishments, but most of all because they offend You my God, who are all-good and deserving of my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
Frequently Asked Questions about ConfessionGo to link here.
How to Make a Good ConfessionRead article here
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Could God Ever Love Someone like Me?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation - (Audio Talk | 54 mins)
Fr. Mike Schmitz speaks powerfully about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, debunking the lies we often believe about not being good enough to approach Jesus, and uses Scripture to explain why we go to priests to encounter God’s mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession.Listen on FORMED
The Healing Power of Confession
Dr. Scott Hahn (Audio Talk | 74 minutes)
Dr. Scott Hahn presents the historical and biblical origins of the Sacrament of Penance. He provides an important guide for new Catholics, a source of renewal for "old hands," and a challenge to all of us to deepen our relationship with Christ by frequenting the Sacrament of Penance.Listen on FORMED
Forgiven: The Transforming Power of Confession
Parish Edition, 9 Sessions
Forgiven explores the grace and healing offered in Confession and shows how this sacrament of mercy reveals the depth and bounty of God’s love. By looking at God’s revelation of his mercy in Scripture and making a step-by-step examination of the Rite itself, Forgiven communicates God’s invitation to each one of us to come experience his indescribable love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.Study on FORMED
Watch the trailer for ‘Forgiven”, a 9 Session Study on the Transforming Power of Confession available for free on Formed.